Free online checking accounts are fast becoming a viable alternative to low interest rates at local offline banks. Winning the lottery probably isn't likely and chances are Oprah won't be sending you a check any time soon.
Banks are a business, plain and simple, but how do banks with free checking accounts make money? If you have a purchase going through the bank, but don't have enough money to process it, the bank will charge you a fee.
However, accounting mistakes happen from time to time, and if you've made several of them, it may be that there are several transactions all waiting to go through at your bank but there isn't enough money in the account to cover them.
Most financial institutions, including banks with free checking, have a "high-low" processing strategy. Actually, most banks will process the higher charge first and then charge you an overdraft fee on each smaller check that doesn't go through. Of course, the best course of action is to keep careful track of your records and avoid overdrafts altogether. You can also link your credit card or savings account to your checking and have that cover any unfortunate overdrafts. It also allows you to take advantage of competitive interest rates by moving money from checking to a high interest savings quickly.
ING offers free online checking accounts, while HSBC has one that is free as long as you have direct deposit.


In addition to saving money on stamps, banks with free checking and online bill paying help you keep better track of bills. Thus bills get paid on time, gather no late charges, and don't cause overdraft fees on your checking account.
For the stay at home mom interested in saving money and keeping her family in the black financially, free online checking accounts are the way to go! But when you are a stay at home mom already stretching your spending dollar by using coupons and making good financial decisions for your family, what else can you do? As a stay at home mom, you probably have your finances in immaculate shape and every penny in the bank accounted for.
Imagine that you have a check for $300 waiting to process, along with 4 smaller checks of around $20.
Another option would be paying for every day purchases with cash, thus avoiding any chance at loosing control over your spending account.
Besides being free, you can pay your bills online and move money back and forth to various banks. Online banks typically have much higher interest rates for savings than local brick and mortar banks. If you are used to walking into your branch of your bank and depositing your money, this may not be the way to go. If there is a problem, you may be on the phone for long periods of time trying to resolve it.


With great options for online bill paying, ATM access, debit cards, and minimum fees, these banks are worth learning more about.
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You might have enough money to cover the smaller checks, which means the $300 one will be charged an overdraft fee.
Most of the online banks with free checking accounts don't have lots of branches all over the country.
Some online accounts can be slow to process your money, and it's not like you can get a cashier's check from them if you are in a bind.
Start by looking at how your bank does business and learning about free online checking accounts.




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